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Call for Papers: “Hemingway, Faulkner and the Great American Writer: The Sound and Fury of Competition”

Aug. 17, 2002

The Hemingway Society is calling for papers to be delivered at its panel “Hemingway, Faulkner and the Great American Writer: The Sound and Fury of Competition” at the American Literature Association Conference in Boston May 22-25, 2003.

William Faulkner once infamously called Ernest Hemingway a dog, and Hemingway privately referred to Faulkner as “Old Corndrinking Mellifluous.” Each spent a career attempting to establish himself as the premier American writer of his generation, and often did so in mind of the other, who acted variously as a catalyst, foil and example for such efforts. In short, each seemed to inspire a volatile mix of admiration, envy and loathing in the
other.

This session is devoted to a discussion of the complicated relationship between Faulkner and Hemingway as contemporaries, and their subsequent cultural and critical trajectories as American writers. The session welcomes a variety of approaches and premises for comparing the two figures, focused primarily on the complex relationship between personal and literary reputation.

Papers should offer a reasonable balance of biographical and textual analysis. Suggested subjects: the correspondence between the two men and their intermediaries; their critical estimations of each other and the degree to which these estimations reveal more about the estimator than the estimated; their inadvertent collaboration on To Have and Have Not; the different visions they offered on similar themes, such as hunting and war, and possible lines of influence; the relationship between personal celebrity and artistic achievement; the divergent critical responses to their work, before and after the Nobel Prizes; the degree to which our present sense of “American writer” was forged by the lives, careers and fiction of each.

Abstracts of 250 words and CV’s should be sent to the address below, no later than December 1, 2002.

Randy Boyagoda
Department of English
Boston University
236 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 358-2549
boyagoda@bu.edu


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